Supporting telework brings 9 to 1 roi

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014

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    </a>Supporting telework brings 9-to-1 return on investment
    
    
    
    
    
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          eWorkPlace Minnesota announced today that it was delivering at least nine dollars in benefits for every one dollar invested in encouraging teleworking.
    
            eWorkPlace Minnesota is a state-sponsored program for metro area employers. Its purpose is to reduce congestion on the highways in and around the Twin Cities. It encourages employers to offer the option of either 1) working from home or other remote locations via the Internet or other technology or 2) a more dramatic workplace culture shift, through the adoption of a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE) strategy.
    
             “No single tool is a panacea, but telework helps address some of the toughest problems Minnesota faces.”</strong>
    
              At an event at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs today, eWorkPlace Minnesota announced the results of a two-year push to promote telework in Minnesota. Among the findings of the Humphrey School research:
    
              FISCAL ROI - The state’s $3.2 million investment will yield a 9-to-1 return-on-investment (ROI) over the next 5 years. This ROI estimate does not include a whole range of benefits, such as productivity, environmental and quality of life gains.
    
              RAPID BUY-IN -More than 4,200 Minnesotans participated in eWorkPlace Minnesota, easily exceeding the original goal of 2,700 participants. eWorkPlace worked with 48 employers, including Medtronic, Turck, Valspar, Hennepin County, Ecolab, Fairview Health Services, Aveda, and many others.
    
              ECONOMIC COMPETITIVENESS BENEFITS - More than three-fourths of employers report that telework is leading to greater productivity. None reported a loss of productivity. Employers also report lower costs and improved employee retention.
    
              CONGESTION RELIEF BENEFITS - Participants are saving about 7.5 million vehicle miles traveled per year.
    
              ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS - Participation led to a reduction of over 8 million pounds of CO2 emissions/year, the equivalent of 1000 acres of forest planted.
    
              <strong>“Working at home twice a week saves me a tank of gas typically and a lot of wear and tear on the car. I’m still starting work by 6:30 a.m. so I’m actually able to get more done on a lot of these days.”</strong>
    
              eWorkPlace leaders stress that the largest barriers to telework expansion are often cultural, not technological. Employers often have questions about whether telework will lead to a loss of productivity and efficiency.
    
              But eWorkPlace Minnesota consultants worked closely with employers to overcome both cultural, logistical and technical barriers, and employers saw impressive gains in productivity. For instance, when Ecolab allowed a group of employees to telework from home, it saw a 16% increasing the number of calls answered, a 10% increase in quick call resolution, and a 3% increase. Fairview Health Service saw 50% decrease in overtime hours.
    
              In all, 93 percent of eWorkPlace Minnesota’s participating employers said they plan to continue their telework programs. This bodes well for Minnesota’s future, because eWorkPlace Minnesota says that even just a 1% increase in the total number of teleworkers in Minnesota would mean at least 14,650 fewer commute trips per day, 47.8 million fewer miles traveled per year, and 1.1 million fewer pounds of CO2 emitted per week.
              <strong>
                “We all want to improve our productivity, traffic flow, pollution and our quality-of-life, and telework helps with all of those goals,”</strong> says Lari. “With just a little encouragement and consulting support, all types and sizes of employers can move in this direction.”
    
              The eWorkPlace Minnesota initiative is scheduled to end at the end of June 2011, though it is possible that it will be continued in some form.
    
              eWorkPlace Minnesota partners include the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the Minnesota Department of Transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, Metro Transit, Transit Management Organizations in St. Paul, Minneapolis, and Anoka County, and 48 employers. 
    
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